By Josh Howald
The Ripley Wolves just can't seem to get ahead.
After a big win on the road Friday night in Shelburne, the Wolves were thumped at home Sunday afternoon by a new-look Minto-Mapleton 81's squad.
It has been a year of change in the WOAA Senior AA Hockey League. The Shelburne Muskies, a perennial contender, find themselves at the bottom of the standings, while the 81's, who have struggled the past five seasons, are a contending team.
No matter their position in the standings, there are no easy wins in Shelburne, and the Wolves worked hard for two points Friday night.
Sean Cooper gave the Muskies an early lead in this game, but Shawn Stewart tied the game late in the period, scoring from Brock Lowry and Jared Colling. Nick Hodgson made it 2-1 for the home team two minutes into the second period, but back-to-back goals from Tim Dwinnell gave the Wolves a 3-2 lead. Dwinnell scored at the nine minute park of the middle frame, and again with 3:12 to go in the second. Nick Locking assisted on both of the goals. Jeremy McQuillin had a helper on the first, while Corey McCrae was in on the second.
Devin Kemp stretched the lead to 4-2 early in the third period from Mark Stanley and McQuillin, and McQuillin buried the Muskies, making it 5-2 with less than two minutes to go. Locking assisted on the insurance marker, his third point of the night.
Sunday afternoon, the Minto-Mapleton 81's visited the RIpley Community Complex for a rare afternoon game. Stanley opened the scoring from McCrae but goals from Zack Graham and Scott Tregunna gave the visitors a 2-1 lead after one period. The 81's won this game in the second period, scoring four times unanswered. Curtis Pinder, Matt McCann, Andrew Coburn and Tregunna all scored within a six-minute span to make it 6-1 at the second intermission. Dan Richardson made it 7-1 before Tyler DeVos scored back-to-back goals for RIpley to make it 7-3. Kyle Gallant and Paul Stewart each assisted on one of DeVos' goals. Jordan Lang wrapped up the scoring, making in 8-3 for Minto-Mapleton with six minutes to play.
With the win, the 81's moved into a three-way tie for first place overall in the WOAA North Division. Minto-Mapleton has 18 points, as do the Elora Rocks and the Saugeen Shores Winterhawks.
Ripley, meanwhile, is now 3-7-0-2. The Wolves are three points up on sixth place Lucknow, and three points back of the fourth place Shallow Lake Crushers.
The Winterhawks will be in Ripley Saturday night for a 7:30 p.m. start against the Wolves. Saugeen Shores is coming off an 11-5 pounding of Lucknow and a 2-1 win over the Crushers on the weekend. It is Ripley's only game of the weekend.